Rosie’s Gaming Emporium Expands HHR Empire in Virginia with Dumfries Opening

Posted on January 8, 2021 - Last Updated on January 15, 2021

With its new location in the town of Dumfries, Rosie’s Gaming Emporium has expanded its historical horse racing (HHR) foothold in Virginia.

The location, which is the fifth Rosie’s gaming parlor in VA, opened on Friday at 18069 Triangle Shopping Plaza. It’s the first Rosie’s location in northern Virginia.

Colonial Downs Group operates the Rosie’s locations. The Virginia General Assembly legalized historical horse racing in 2018 as part of a deal that would reopen the Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent County, Virginia. The first Rosie’s locations opened in Virginia the following year.

Rosie’s HHR machines look and work almost exactly like traditional slot machines. However, Rosie’s also offers live televised horse racing and betting within each location’s racebook.

The new Dumfries shop joins Rosie’s other locations in New Kent County, Hampton, Richmond, and Vinton.

HHR at Rosie’s Dumfries

Rosie’s Dumfries is located in Triangle Shopping Center, which is centrally placed in the town of approximately 5,000.

With current COVID-19 measures, the 19,000-square-foot facility can accommodate about 130 customers.

It’s open from 8 a.m. to midnight daily.

However, when pandemic-related social-distancing measures are lifted, Rosie’s Dumfries can up that capacity.

In addition to creating jobs, Rosie’s locations generate tax revenue. Rosie’s Dumfries general manager Rick Casagrande told NBC Washington the facility should contribute approximately $55,000 in monthly tax revenue to Dumfries.

Collectively, Rosie’s other locations generated a $170 million betting handle in November alone, with Richmond ($61 million) and Hampton ($59 million) leading the way.

What to expect at Rosie’s

Rosie’s locations look like mini-casinos. However, the gaming parlors differ in the types of games they offer. There’s no poker room, no table games, no sportsbook, and not even any traditional slot machines. Instead, all of their slot-like devices are HHR machines.

Rather than pure chance, HHR games rely on the results of tens of thousands of horse races that have already run. The built-in pari-mutuel wagering system allows HHR machines to skirt traditional gaming laws and instead be classified as “games of skill.”

However, for the average slot jockey, the experience is largely the same.

In addition to the HHR machines, in which players can wager 20 cents up to multiple dollars per spin, Rosie’s also offers an on-site racebook. The off-track betting facilities have a wall of TVs that air live feeds of horse racing from racetracks across the US. Horse players can place their bets on those races through Rosie’s manned betting windows or via self-service wagering terminals.

Each location also features Rosie’s Kitchen, an on-site food counter/lounge with surprisingly tasty burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads, donuts, and cookies.

In a state with minimal betting options, Rosie’s had become the commonwealth’s go-to gaming destination. However, the HHR parlors will soon get serious competition from soon-to-launch Virginia sports betting and VA casino-resorts.

Dumfries, though, does have a geographic advantage. The nearest potential casino (Richmond) would be 80 miles away. Additionally, Dumfries is located just 30 miles from the Washington, DC, border, which could expand its potential customer base.

Photo by Michael Ledray / Dreamstime
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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